November 1, 2008 (Vol. 28, No. 19)
Strong Points: Educational content
Weak Points: Not tightly focused
Apparently, every single thing in the universe seems to have its own web page, and the cochlea of the inner ear is no exception. In fact, the ear may be the most interesting organ of the body. With its intricate yet delicate structures that facilitate the detection of physical changes resulting from sound waves, the ear is both host to the smallest bone in the body (stirrup) and the most complicated one (temporal bone). The cochlea, which is the subject of this page, is not covered as extensively as I would like. Most of the information at the page relates to the technical structures involved in the sense of hearing, and little is specific to the cochlea itself. The section on Cochlear Mechanics, though, will probably satisfy most junkies on the subject. Information is organized in a sort of tutorial fashion in which subsections within a section are organized as units that one clicks sequentially between. The figures explaining the principles range from simplistic to informative, so the site is a mixed bag. Overall, I’d give it a thumbs-up, but some may disagree.